I am always in the market for new and fun activities to do with Atlas. Lately, his attention span has been shrinking and keeping him entertained has become harder and harder. So, I decided to shake up our day a bit with a new adventure […]
Dear Atlas George,
Wow. I cannot believe that you are already 20 months old. You are so much closer to 2 than 1, and that is just something I cannot wrap my head around.
My baby boy is almost two years old. Where did the time go?
Everyday you are learning new things and surprising mommy with your intelligence. You are the smartest little one I have ever met.
You already know the entire alphabet, with the exception of three letters – K, Q, and Y. The rest you can point out or say the name of yourself. We started learning the letters during bath time, and then began pointing them out everywhere we go. Books. Signs. Fridge Magnets. Everywhere.
You say the number 2 and only the number 2. I think it has become a game that you will not say the number 1. When we try, you get a smirk on your face and just say the number 2. Really, I cannot fault you because it does come next.
You love to point out airplanes and birds. Whether it be in the car, on a walk, or from the kitchen window. And you always get really excited when you see two. You exclaim two! It’s adorable. Other than that you love your drums, playing with daddy’s guitar, and the rainbow stacking buckets you got from you Great Grandmother.
You are almost consistently sleeping through the night. You normally begin to stir at 6:30 in the morning – but don’t actually wake up until 7:30 or 8. If you do wake, it’s normally only once around 1 or 2 in the morning. You had a strong streak going there, ten days or so, before our California vacation. I think the change to our sleeping arrangements, being in a hotel and all, threw you off. Hopefully, you’ll get back into the hang of it soon. You seem to love your big boy bed, and that makes mom and dad very happy.
You say so many words I cannot even think of them all to count. I’d say you probably say two hundred or so words. And you comprehend pretty much everything these days. One of my favorite things is being able to really converse with you as of late. You will respond, and actually keep the conversation going, which just tickles me to no end.
We’d started to be able to reason with you. Mostly, “if this, than that” statements. If you eat two more bites, you can be done. If you stop screaming, you can have your toy. If you give mommy a kiss, she will come with you. Yeah, I like to steal kisses as much as possible.
You really are growing up so quickly. I see you change everyday right before my eyes. Part of me wants to scream, stay little – stop growing up so fast! Yet, another part of me is so excited to see you grow, and learn. Everyday is so new and exciting with you.
We love you more than you could ever know.
Flying with a little can be quite the challenge at times. I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t worried about our first flight just the two of us.
See, in the past, Atlas has always done really well on flights – but we’ve always had both Josh and myself to keep him entertained. He could jump between our seats, giving him room to stretch out. So, this time with only one seat, and one adult, it was going to be a bit different.
I’m happy to say, he did wonderful.
After a slightly rocky start, he fell asleep and didn’t wake up until a half hour before we landed! Praise the lord. At first there was just so much going on: people to talk to as they boarded, windows to look out, trucks to see (while we were still on the ground, of course). And take-off was a bit of a puzzle to him; He couldn’t figure out all the noises. It didn’t scare him though – he exclaimed ‘airplane’ right as we took off! Adorable. At the very end when he woke up, he got a little antsy and didn’t want to stay sitting. He stood at my feet and ‘read’ the pamphlets in the seat pocket. He knew all the letters, which just amazes me. You can read more about our travel experience here.
In preparation for the flight, I asked for all the tips and advice people had for flying alone with children. And I was overwhelmed with the response! So, I’m just going to share a few that really helped us out.
- If you are bringing your car seat, like we did, buy a cover that both rolls and had back-straps. That way, your seat is protected and you can travel with it whichever way suits you best with what you have on that trip. No matter how great a bag, it will still be a workout carrying everything – just expect it. We bought the Brica Cover – it’s inexpensive and fit our giant car seat. It did the job well.
UPDATE: I was told you could put extra things in with your carseat – since there will most likely be room. On our flight to California, I stored our beach towel. On the way back, I was informed this was technically against the rules and told to remove it. It all ended up being fine, but just as a heads up, don’t count on this extra space when packing.
- Check as much as possible. Up front, I want to say we didn’t do this. I once lost a bag – for a day – on an international flight. So, I avoid it at all cost now. BUT for those of you who aren’t crazy… Get as much out of your hands as quickly as possible. It’s the smart thing to do.
- Gate check your stroller + car seat if you didn’t check check them. They take care of them from that point, and it’s free. Disclaimer: It’s free on Delta – I suppose I cannot speak for every airline.
- Load up on snacks. The more variety the better. Normally, Atlas is all about his penguins (Aldi’s version of goldfish, they are actually really tasty). But when I offered him some as we waited to board, he shot me down. You just never know what these little ones are going to want – and once they learn the word no, they love to use it.
- Stock up on new, but cheap entertainment from the Target dollar spot. Okay, it’s sounds sort of crazy when you have a million toys at home already, but hear me out… You can get ten different things for ten bucks. And we all know how quickly kids tire of toys – at least if they are new, they will focus on them long enough to figure them out. Also, if you misplace one, drop one and it goes rolling down the aisle or accidentally leave it on the chair in the airport, it doesn’t matter. It was a dollar. We scored some sticker books, a stretchy penguin that lights up, alphabet flash cards, a coloring pad, and a few dinky toys for next to nothing.
- Breastfeed, bottle fed, or having them drink water as the plane takes-off and lands, if they are awake. Never wake a sleeping baby. This will help to pop their ears. If this doesn’t work, I was told to bring along ibuprofen – it is supposed to help with the pain. I’ve never had to deal with a baby whose ears won’t pop before – but having it happen to myself once, I’d try pretty much anything if put in that situation.
- Bring along an empty sippy cup. Fill it up after you’ve gotten through security. This goes for people traveling without kiddos too, water bottles for the win. Save yourself the three bucks it costs to buy water.
- I know we all like to look out the window while we fly, and snap pretty pictures while we are above the clouds – Instagram mom right here – but, resist the urge and shut the window if your little is looking to nap. Less distraction.
- I stand by this statement 100%. The window seat is best with little people. Here’s why. There is no temptation to run up and down the aisle because it’s too far away. You can corral them using your legs and the ‘wall’ of the plane. You can rest your head. You don’t have to worry about the carts hitting their feet or heads when they lay. And there is a window to entertain them when they are awake.
- If your child is old enough to understand- explain what is happening to them. Even if they aren’t quite old enough. Flying scares some kids, so talking to them about it helps.
- Lastly, board first! You know when they say if anyone needs any extra time to board. Take full advantage of that and go first. You’ll have time to settle all your things. There will be room above your seat for your carry-on items. You won’t have people waiting behind you as you put everything in its place, all while trying to wrangle your baby. Plus, you can explore a bit. I know some people say the less time on the plane the better, so wait. But I think the rush and pressure of everyone else in line to sit down is way worse than a little extra time in your seat.
Atlas has now flown 5 times, 6 on our way back home. And we are already planning flight 7 and 8. We aren’t professionals yet, but I’d say we are well on our way.
Do you have any expert tips or advice I left out? I’d love new tips and tricks. Leave it in the comments below.
‘Enjoy the little things in life because one day you`ll look back and realize they were the big things.’ – Kurt Vonnegut I really, truly believe that the greatest moments in life are the everyday, ‘simply living life’ moments. Moments which, at the time, seem insignificant, […]
Today, we spent the day with my mother’s side of the family celebrating Easter. I feel like our family traditions for Easter are pretty basic. We do ham, cheesy potatoes, and family time. This year, we brought back the Easter egg hunt finally having enough littles to enjoy it.
My cousin put together the sweetest Easter egg hunt for the kids. She went so crazy – there were 72 eggs for 3 kids! Plus, they each got a big toy and bubbles! Seriously, my child is so blessed and forever spoiled with such loving family around.
It was too cute to watch Atlas figure out the egg hunt. At first, he noticed the stuffed plastic eggs but must have thought they weren’t for him because he left them alone. A few minutes later, he pointed to one. Only after I told him he could, did he picked it up, promptly setting it back down where it belonged.
It wasn’t until he and daddy were playing under the table that he became interested. He accidentally kicked one and M&M’s split out. He quickly decided it was worth his time to look for more.
At this point, he became really focused on finding the candy filled eggs. We called the other kids and the hunt began.
Immediately, Atlas piled eggs into his arms until he couldn’t carry anymore. I got him his basket and he threw them in. He found a few more, then decided he needed to open them all to eat the candy he had found.
After a little prompting, I got his focus redirected on finding the eggs. He’d stop to pet the dog, but was back at it pretty adamantly. Stopping every egg or two for a piece of candy. When the hunt was over, all he wanted was to crack the eggs and get his goodies. So, Grandma got him a small bowl and put a few chocolates in it for him.
It was adorable, yet so naughty; he would bring the bowl to Grandma and ask for more. Of course, she obliged. He had WAY more candy than any one year old should. Later on in the night, he found his own Tupperware container in my aunt’s cabinet and asked for more. Resourceful kid.
I cannot even explain how my heart melted seeing his excitement over the egg hunt. Watching him find each egg and ow and ah over them – shaking each one to hear the candy inside. Then, he’d gasp, toss it in his basket, and go in search of another. Or he’d open it and stuff as many in his mouth as he could before mom noticed.
I spend my life watching him discover and learn. His excitement about life is so refreshing. If I’ve learned one thing since becoming a parent, it is learning to see the joy in life again. The littlest things put the biggest smiles on Atty’s face – and that, that is exactly how I want to live life.
Also, I completely forgot to take pictures. Gasp. The only one I snapped, Atlas was unhappy that I put his bunny ears on his head. I’ll have to do better tomorrow as the Easter fun continues. Follow along, #attydoeseaster.